Zi71bFS9nQHnivtvUJquhejTHIQ The Story Factory Reading Zone: November 2011

Sunday, 27 November 2011

The Children of the New Forest by Captain Marryat (A Review)

A classic children's book, yet suitable for adults as well. What I love most about this book is the real grounding you feel in the historical context. The characters and places are only described briefly, but yet it is still possible to form a real connection with them. The plot comes across simple and sometimes charming, despite the often complex situations which take place. This is definatly a book that everyone should read at least once during their lifetime.

Action Readers: Think of a cause that you feel strongly about, and then do something to help it.

Friday, 25 November 2011

The Friday 56 #14 The Children of the New Forest

Hosted by Freda's Voice

The Children of the New Forest by Captain Marryat
"You ask strange questions, young sir, but still I will answer you that"

Book Tunes #2

Hosted by Down The Rabbit-Hole

I'm currently reading 'The Children of the New Forest'. The Forest and escaping to / fighting for freedom reminds me of Robin Hood. And so, through my roundabout thinking, here's a tune that I'm reminded of whilst reading this book:

TGIF at GReads #4

Hosted by GReads

This Friday's Question:

When You're Not Reading: What occupies your time 
when your nose isn't stuck in a book?

Blogging about books and writing takes up quite a bit of my time nowadays (especially if I'm setting up new social pages like I was yesterday with Facebook). The rest of my time is split as follows:
  • Music activities, e.g. playing with my brass band, learning music theory, singing with choirs/at church
  • Craft activities, e.g. tapestry work, card making, making soaps / bubble bath, decopatch
  • Church activities, e.g. stewarding, attending services, creche
  • Youth activities, e.g. volunteering work in schools
  • Going for walks
  • Watching TV
Wow this makes me seems like I'm really busy! I'm sure I'm not really as bsusy as this!

    Thursday, 24 November 2011

    Theme Thursdays- Place Description

    Hosted by Reading Between Pages

    Today's theme is:

    PLACE DESCRIPTION (Location / Place / Room description)

    The Children of the New Forest by Captain Marryat
    As we said before, it contained a large sitting-room, or kitchen, in which were a spacious hearth and chimney, tables, stools, cupboards and dressers

    Third Sentence Thursday #16 The Children of the New Forest

    Hosted by Proud Book Nerd

    The Children of the New Forest by Captain Marryat
    The Cavaliers, or the party who fought for Kin Charles, had all been dispersed, and the Parliamentary army under the control of Cromwell were beginning to control the Commons. 

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    Tuesday, 22 November 2011

    Teaser Tuesday #19 The Children of The New Forest

    Hosted by Should Be Reading

    The Children of the New Forest by Captain Marryat
    "Who knows what they might do with these children!- Destroy the nest as well as the rats, indeed!- they must find the nest first"

    Monday, 21 November 2011

    Updated review policy

    Just a quick note to let any authors / publishers that may be passing through know that I have updated my review policy. Please take a peek if you are considering sending me a book.


    The Man Who Loved Only Numbers by Paul Hoffman (A Review)

    The bestselling story of Paul Erdos and the Search for Mathematical Truth

    My review:
    Whilst there were parts of this book which I enjoyed immensely, humourous and/or interesting as they were, the mathematical parts generally caused me much confusion. I guess I should have expected this in a book about 'the search for mathematical truth', but I felt that there was much more of this aspect than the bit about Paul Erdos' life. Why did he love maths so much? What about his relationships with other people? How did non-mathematicians react to him? These questions were only briefly touched on.
    In short, this is a book which those with a good mathematical knowledge will probably enjoy immensely, but for those of us not so mathematically inclined it will be of interest at best. 

    Visit Action Readers
    Action point: What is your focus in life? Take some time to review and (if necessary) reconsider it.

    Monday, 14 November 2011

    Musing Mondays #10

    Hosted by Should Be Reading

    This week’s musing asks…
    Are you currently collecting any authors? Why?
    Do you have all of their books? If not, why not? 
    Did you buy all the books in the collection at the same time, or did you buy a book here, a book there? Have you actually read all of the collection? If not, why not?

    I am collecting Christian Jacq, Terry Pratchett and Jasper Fforde books. I collect them because I love the way they write so much that I want to read their books over and over again. I knoe that when I pick up one of these books then I'll always have a good time.

    I believe that I have all of Jasper Fforde's books and almost all of Terry Pratchett's books (I can't decide whether I should include the children's books and Discworld background books in my collection, so some of these are missing at the moment). I've collected these mainly as they've come out, hence not having all of Christian Jacq's books- there are just too many out to buy all at once, so I tend to buy them when I find them on special offer.

    I have read most of my collections, but there are a few newer ones which I've still to read because my TBR pile has simply got in the way. Since the books I collect are almost all part of series, I often feel like I need to read the earlier books first so I need a good chunk of ring-free time to get to them.

    Saturday, 12 November 2011

    Calling all BookCrossing Supporters

    I've managed to get hold of a space for a BookCrossing Xmas Tree at my local Community Christmas Tree Festival. Loads of local businesses and organisations will be decorating trees to advertise what they do. Since BookCrossing is such a part of my life, I felt it was important it had a place in the community as well.
    The festival is raising funds for the Oxford Night Shelter, so its all in a good cause.

    I need your help though. To do this I need to have enough decorations related to BookCrossing (for instance bookmarks, covers of your favourite books, pictures of places you might release a book etc) or Christmas to fill a tree. I'm going to make some myself, but I wondered whether anyone would be willing to send me something to add, so that it really can be full without me collapsing from exhausted.

    I'm also looking to do a sort of 'BookCrossing Treasure Hunt', wild releasing books around the venue that are related to Christmas Tree, decorations or the Christmas Story. If anyone has a suitable book they're willing to donate please let me know.

    We will be setting up on Friday 9th December, so there's not long to go.
    If you're able to help in any way please leave contact details in the comments (also the place to ask any questions you may have).
    Thanks very much.

    Friday, 11 November 2011

    Book Beginnings- 11th November 2011

    Hosted by A Few More Pages

    The Man Who Loved Only Numbers by Paul Hoffman
    Vegre nem butulok tovabb (Finally I am becoming stupider no more) - the epitaph Paul Erdos wrote for himself. 

    Book Tunes #1

    Hosted by Down The Rabbit Hole

    My current read is 'The Man Who Loved Numbers' by Paul Hoffman. I found this video on YouTube and it just seemed to fit Erdos' way of looking at the world perfectly. There are no words, but even the instrumental fits well.

    Thursday, 10 November 2011

    Third Sentence Thursday #15 The Man Who Loved Only Numbers

    Hosted by Proud Book Nerd

    The Man Who Loved Only Numbers by Paul Hoffman
    Paul Erdos was one of those very special geniuses, the kind who comes along only once in a very long  while yet he chose, quite consciously I am sure, to share mathematics with mere mortals- like me.

    Wednesday, 9 November 2011

    WWW Wednesdays #9

    Hosted by Should Be Reading

    • What are you currently reading?

    The Man Who Loved Only Numbers by Paul Hoffman

    "The Bestselling Story of Paul Erdos and the Search for Mathematical Truth"
    • What did you recently finish reading?

    Get More Like Jesus While Watching TV by Nick Pollard & Steve Couch (click for my review)
    • What do you think you’ll read next?
    The Reading Group by Elizabeth Noble
    "Its members are as different as the books they read. But each woman has secret hopes and fears- for a new lover; a straying husband; an ailing mother; a tearaway teenager- and each woman finds laughter and support in the group's monthly meetings."

    Sunday, 6 November 2011

    Get More Like Jesus While Watching TV by Nck Pollard & Steve Couch (A Review)

    From goodreads:
    Rather than condemn TV as a bad influence or dismiss it as harmless, Get More Like Jesus while Watching TV argues that the way we watch TV matters as much as what we watch. Using illustrations from current and recent television programs, the Damaris team members demonstrate how our TV viewing can actually help us to become more like Jesus and more effective at telling others about him. Using a framework from Romans 12, this book consists of eight chapters which use popular programs to encourage the reader to deepen their relationships with God. There are also four study guides based on programs such as The Office and Friends

    My review:
    Whilst I didn't agree with everything in this book, I did find it thought-provoking. Sometimes obvious and other times inspired, this book's outlook is challenging and yet it is still easy to read. The TV references ocassionally seemed to be plucked from the air, but this didn't stop the point of the message getting across. Worth reading if you are a Christian who loves TV, not least for the bible studies in the back.

    Visit Action Readers
    Action point: Consider the morals set by your favourite programmes- how can you make sure that the right ones affect your life?

    Saturday, 5 November 2011

    Ambasadora- Author interview and giveaway (international)

    You may remember that a few months ago I was read and reviewed 'Ambasadora' by Heidi Ruby Miller.
    Well, Heidi's been kind enough to answer a few questions for us.
    I also have my copy of Ambasadora to give away to one lucky winner (fill in rafflecopter to enter).

    1. What inspired you to write Ambasadora?
    I have always been drawn to the mix of Science Fiction and Romance like I saw in Star Wars, Farscape, and BSG. I wanted to create my own world and characters, and what better time to do that than for my graduate thesis novel?

    2. How do you usually go about creating a character for your stories?
    I think and dream about my characters a lot, creating appearances, backgrounds, personalities, and quirks for them. They become actual people to me—that's why it's so hard to torture them.

    3. Who is your favourite Ambasadora character, and why?
    Right now, it's David because I just finished a novella in the Ambasadora-verse (Greenshift) where we get a glimpse into David and Mari's courtship and the danger that befalls them before Sara ever arrives on the Bard. But I think Sean will always hold the most special place in my heart—he's tortured and sacrifices so much. My kind of guy.

    4. Describe your ideal virtual world.
    There was a world in the V-side that never made it into the final version of Ambasadora. It was originally meant as the ending scene, but I changed my mind on that last rewrite. The setting was like Greek ruins, all alabaster pillars and an amphitheater surrounded by rolling meadows with fluorescent green grass and purple and blue wild flowers. The interesting part was how an av entered this world—dropping as a large flower from silvery clouds in the sky, then when the flower reached the ground, it burst apart leaving the av standing in its place. You'll probably see this world in a future book….

    5. Do you have a favourite author?
    I have lots of favorite authors, but I recently fell in love with Sara Creasy's Scarabaeus series. Edie and Finn were incredible characters that I cared so much about I had to read the second book right after finishing the first—that seldom ever happens to me. Creasy also made the science an integral part of the story in both Song of Scarabaesu and Children of Scarabaeus—something very important for good SF Romance. I hope she has another one planned in the series!

    I Am A Book!- What are you?

    You Are a Book

    You are a very intellectual and logical person. You like to think, and a lot of your thinking is quite deep.

    You are both philosophical and idealistic. You think it's interesting to imagine how the world could be.

    You enjoy spending a good deal of time alone. In fact, you tend to go sort of crazy if you don't get your space.

    While you may seem distant, you care very deeply for humanity. You're trying to figure out how to save the world.

    Friday, 4 November 2011

    The Science of Doctor Who by Paul Parsons (A Review)

    "Have you ever wondered if a sonic screwdriver could really work? How Cybermen make little Cybermen? Or where the toilets are on the Tardis? Doctor Who arrived on TV screens and through millennia, the journeys of the Time Lord have shown us alien worlds, strange life-forms, futuristic technoogy and mind-bending csomic phenomena. Viewers cowered terrified of Daleks, were amazed with the wonders of time travel, and sped through black holes into other universes and new dimensions. The breath and imagination of the Doctor's adventures have made the show one of science fiction's truly monumentalsuccess stories. BBC Focus edito Paul Parsons explains the scientific reality behind the fiction"
    I love Dr Who, and I loved this book as well. It explained the scientific phenomena from across many of the different series (and Drs' adventures) in a understandable and interesting way. It's probably more easily understood if you're famliar with the aliens, planets and technologies of the programme; but those who have only watched one or two episodes will still get something from this book. The text can be approached successfully from either a TV or scientific interest.

    The Eternal Quest by Julian Branston (A Review)

    "In seventeenth-century Valladolid, Spain's new capital, Miguel Cervantes is busy writing his comic masterpiece, Don Quixote. Issued in instalments, it is fast making him the most popular author in the country when a series of blows strikes."
    Full of wit, easy to read and yet retaining a high-brow aire, 'The Eternal Quest' was a book which I enjoyed more and more with each turn of the page. Having never read Don Quixote, I don't know how much of its interest came from the original tale, but it certainly held echoes of a romantic and chivalrous era.
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